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This biomarker is also known as:
  • obesity factor,
  • leptin (obesity homolog, mouse),
  • leptin (murine obesity homolog),
  • OBS,
  • FLJ94114,
  • obese, mouse, homolog of,
  • leptin,
  • OB,

View in BioMuta


Leptin (LEP) is secreted by white adipocytes and plays a major role in the regulation of body weight. This protein, which acts through the leptin receptor, functions as part of a signaling pathway that can inhibit food intake and/or regulate energy expenditure to maintain constancy of the adipose mass. Leptin has also been implicated in the regulation of reproduction, glucose homeostasis, bone formation, wound healing and the immune system. Leptin has several endocrine functions and is also involved in the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, hematopoiesis, angiogenesis and wound healing. Mutations in the leptin gene and/or its regulatory regions cause severe obesity and morbid obesity with hypogonadism. The leptin gene has also been linked to type 2 diabetes mellitus development.


QA State: Curated
Type: Protein
Short Name:


There are no datasets associated with this biomarker.


The following organs have data associated with this biomarker…



Phase: Two
QA State: Under Review


Leptin is secreted by white adipocytes. Adipose tissue is currently considered a biologically active endocrine organ, secreting a variety of bioactive adipokines, such as leptin, adiponectin, resistin and nicotinamide phosphoribosyl-transferase/visfatin. Current research has shown that the combination of obesity, insulin resistance and adipokines is associated with the risk and prognosis of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Performance Comment

LEP, or leptin, was one of numerous potential early detection biomarkers specific to triple-negative breast cancer in multiple pathways identified.



Phase: Three
QA State: Curated


Leptin, a secreted protein of the ob gene by white adipose tissue, plays an important role in the regulation of food intake and energy consumption in the brain and acts as a potential growth stimulator in normal and neoplastic breast cancer cells. The expression of leptin receptors in immortalized ovarian surface epithelium (IOSE) and ovarian cancer cell lines, and potential effect of leptin on the cell growth and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in the BG-1 ovarian cancer cell line has been tested. Both short and long isoforms of leptin receptors are expressed in IOSE-80PC (a post-crisis line), BG-1, OVCAR-3, and SKOV-3 cells. In addition, treatment with leptin resulted in the growth stimulation of BG-1 cells, an activation of ERK1/2 and inhibition of constitutive phosphorylation of p38 MAPK.

Performance Comment

Of the 28 ovarian cancer biomarkers tested in prediagnostic specimens, from the PLCO, CA125 remains the single best biomarker for ovarian cancer and has its strongest signal within six months of diagnosis. LEP alone was not a strong predictor.


This biomarker is currently being annotated or is under review. You must be logged in or do not have permission to view any additional information. Contact Heather Kincaid at if you should have access to this biomarker.

New Funding Opportunity: Biomarker Development Laboratories for the Early Detection Network: Applications Due May 23

Update: Pre-application webinar information now available.

The National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention has released a new funding opportunity to solicit organ-specific applications for Biomarker Developmental Laboratories (BDLs), one of the four scientific units of the recently funded Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). The EDRN is a national infrastructure funded to discover, develop, and validate biomarkers for risk assessment, detection, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of early cancer. BDLs are responsible for the discovery, development, characterization, and testing of new, or the refinement of existing, biomarkers and biomarker assays for risk assessment, detection, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of cancers.

The existing BDLs are primarily focused on ovary and gastrointestinal cancers. The proposed BDLs (to be supported under this funding opportunity) should be focused on one or more of the following cancers: breast, prostate and other genitourinary organs, or lung. In addition, cancers with rapidly rising incidence rates, e.g., endometrial, hepatocellular, kidney, thyroid, oropharyngeal cancers, and/or cancers with unique etiology, e.g., mesothelioma, will be considered.

The newly funded units of the Early Detection Research Network will be announced later in April. Successful applicants have already been notified. Those researchers who were not successful during the last round of applications are encouraged to apply to this opportunity.